Laura Watts


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Personal profile


Laura Watts is an ethnographer of futures whose research explores the effect of 'edge' landscapes on how the future is imagined and made, as well as methods for writing futures otherwise. As an Science & Technology Studies (STS) and interdisciplinary scholar, she has collaborated on energy futures for the past decade in the Orkney islands, Scotland. Her latest book Energy at the End of the World: an Orkney Islands Saga (MIT Press) won the 4S Rachel Carson Prize, was Shortlisted for the Saltire Research Book of the Year, and Longlisted for the Highland Book Prize. In 2017 she won the International Cultural Innovation Prize with the Reconstrained Design Group for a community-built energy storage device designed from scrap parts. She welcomes collaborations across academia, policy, industry, and local communities.

Research Interests

Science & Technology Studies (STS); Anthropology of Energy; Ethnography of Futures; Marine Renewable Energy; Writing Methods; Speculative Fabulation; Island Studies; Infrastructure Studies; Energy Futures; Energy & Data Convergence.

Research students

I'm interested in mentoring and supervising research students and postgraduates in the following areas: novel empirical writing methods, feminist and postcolonial STS, energy and tech industry ethnography, speculative futures and fabulation, edge landscapes and their infrastructures. Please do read my work to understand my writing approach and commitments to collaborative practice in advance of contacting me.


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